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    213th Regional Support Group arrives for Golden Coyote

    Determining the FOB's layout

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Zane Craig | Lt. Col. James McCormack, with the 213th Regional Support Group and a Watsontown, Pa....... read more read more



    Story by Spc. Zane Craig 

    109th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    CAMP RAPID, S.D. - The 213th Regional Support Group, Pennsylvania Army National Guard, is participating in Golden Coyote, an exercise in the Black Hills of South Dakota for their annual training.

    More than 3,500 soldiers, 55 military units from 11 different states and four foreign nations will take part in the exercise from June 8 through June 22.

    The 213th’s advance party arrived May 29 and immediately began to prepare for the arrival of the main body of soldiers.

    “We are a mayor cell, so we are responsible for the life support on that Forward Operating Base,” said Sgt. 1st Class Angelo Tartaglia, detachment sergeant, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 213th RSG and an Allentown, Pa., native.

    “We’re there to ensure the soldiers have a place to sleep, that they’re being fed and that they have access to hygiene, and also that they have access to training,” he said.

    After many months of preparation, the time has come for the soldiers of the Pennsylvania National Guard to execute.

    “This is our mission, to be overseers of joint reception and onward staging,” said Tartaglia.

    That means the advance party of about 50 soldiers is responsible for setting up the logistical operation that will in-process and move soldiers to the training sites in the field efficiently.

    “This is the first time we’re doing training like this with other National Guard units and with multinational forces, so we’re excited to do this,” said Tartaglia.

    He added that the process the 213th is going through to set up the training and meet the soldiers’ needs once the exercise begins is similar to what they would encounter on a deployment. Coming to a large, out of state location is an excellent simulation of moving into a fresh theater.

    “The mission that we are taking here are missions this unit (213th RSG) has trained at, executed, and done in an OCONUS (Outside the Continental United States) deployment. From the MPAD, with their deployment experience of media coverage, to the personnel company running a theater gateway in Kuwait, to the engineers doing their operations and missions overseas, to building FOBs as the ASG (213th Area Support Group), now the RSG, did in Iraq. This is a great sustainment opportunity for the entire organization,” said Col. Mark McCormack, commander of the 213th Regional Support Group and a Reinholds, Pa., native.

    McCormack added that training together as a group is an excellent way to both maintain the skills of the soldiers with extensive deployment and training experience and to integrate new soldiers.

    “It’s been some time since the 213th Group has had the opportunity to move all its components to another location as a collective. When we deployed to Iraq we deployed as individual units,” said Sgt. Major Matt Hensinger, command sergeant major for the 213th Regional Support Group and a Mertzville, Pa., native.

    One of the first things the leadership of the advance party needs to accomplish is to scout the location and plan the layout of the forward operating base from which the field training will be conducted.

    “Now we can see how this big empty space of mountains and grass is going to slowly, over the next five to seven days build into a FOB that contains almost 800 soldiers and all the life support that will facilitate living here 24 hours a day for 20 days after,” said McCormack.

    Hensinger added that his bread and butter is to set up a tactical operations center from scratch. And he does mean from scratch because the FOB will be located in a remote area of Custer State Park with no existing infrastructure but a gravel access road.

    “When I came out here and saw this spot, I thought now I’m excited about Golden Coyote,” he said, reacting to the natural beauty of the area with wild buffalo and antelope grazing on the grassy hills and pine forests.

    After the location is scouted, the unit leadership will meet with the civilian vendors who provide the latrines, shower trailers and dumpsters the 213th needs to meet the sanitation needs of the 800 soldiers they will support during the training.

    “It’s coming together very well. Everyone is very supportive of us so we can make a seamless transition when the main body of soldiers gets here,” said Tartaglia.

    The advance party of the 213th RSG is working tirelessly to ensure the success of Golden Coyote by establishing the infrastructure the soldiers will need so when they arrive they can maximize the training time they have here by transitioning seamlessly from arrival in Rapid City to FOB Custer.



    Date Taken: 05.31.2013
    Date Posted: 06.09.2013 01:29
    Story ID: 108346
    Location: RAPID CITY, SD, US 
    Hometown: ALLENTOWN, PA, US
    Hometown: COOPERSBURG, PA, US
    Hometown: HELLERTOWN, PA, US
    Hometown: REINHOLDS, PA, US
    Hometown: WATSONTOWN, PA, US

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